#15: Roseway Basin - Part 3

We began the following day with an early deployment of our second acoustic buoy.  By this point we were a well-oiled machine, so it was quickly and successfully deployed before we hopped back on track to continue searching for whales.

The morning deployment.  Photo by Marianna Hagbloom.

After a brief fog interlude, we emerged to find our first whales of the day in the northern central area of Roseway Basin. The whales tended to be spread out in small aggregations and were only at the surface for short periods of time. In other words, they kept us very busy and made it as difficult as possible for us to work them. We did identify a handful of the whales as familiar faces from the Bay the previous week, including Aphrodite (Catalog#1701)- whose son we had seen on Roseway a few days prior!

A familiar face from the Bay of Fundy and a regular resight throughout our two weeks on Roseway: Aphrodite (Catalog#1701).  Photo by Kelsey Howe. 

Some other old friends were also around: Starboard (Catalog#3603) named for its missing right fluke, Marble (Catalog#2602) who was one of the handful of right whales documented in the Bay last season, and Skittle (Catalog#3260) named for its bowling pin/"skittle"-looking callosity.

Marble (Catalog#2602) preparing to dive.  Notice his white chin through the water.  Photo by Kelsey Howe.

For most of the day, there was shallow feed on the depth sounder (between 10-20 fathoms) and several whales were photographed with their mouth open, which suggests that they are finding some sustenance out on Roseway.

Open mouth behavior that suggests feeding is occurring.  Photo by Kelsey Howe.

Our busy and colorful depth sounder.  Photo by Philip Hamilton.

On our next offshore trip in September, we are planning to tow for plankton to find out specifically what all this feed in the water column actually is. We ended up with over 40 individual whales for the day and worked them until dusk, so our mac & cheese dinner that night felt particularly well-earned.

Our next two days out on the Shelagh were relatively quiet, but we did photograph a handful of humpback whales early one morning, as well as several right whales, including: Phantom (Catalog#3803), who was seen earlier this season in the Bay, and Fundy-frequent Morse (Catalog#1608).

Just one of a handful of humpback flukes we photographed that morning.  Photo by Kelsey Howe. 

By the afternoon on Day #4, the weather conditions had picked up to "sea state terrible," so we opted to head for our temporary home port at Cape Sable Island. Overall, it was an encouraging second leg to our Roseway adventure, as well as incredibly productive. Check back soon for an update on our final set of days out in the Basin...

Sunset from our dock at Cape Sable.  Photo by Kari Signor.

- Kelsey

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